Bigger stage for pole-dancing cancer survivors and seniors

(Facing camera from left) Ms Tan Li Leng, 60, and Ms Sudha Muthukrishnan, 62,  during a rehearsal for their upcoming show A Pole Story: Adventures In Wonderland.
(Facing camera from left) Ms Tan Li Leng, 60, and Ms Sudha Muthukrishnan, 62, during a rehearsal for their upcoming show A Pole Story: Adventures In Wonderland. ST PHOTO: KEVIN CHNG
(Facing camera from left) Ms Tan Li Leng, 60, and Ms Sudha Muthukrishnan, 62,  during a rehearsal for their upcoming show A Pole Story: Adventures In Wonderland.
(Facing camera from left) Ms Tan Li Leng, 60, and Ms Sudha Muthukrishnan, 62, during a rehearsal for their upcoming show A Pole Story: Adventures In Wonderland. ST PHOTO: KEVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - At 62, Ms Sudha Muthukrishnan is a breast cancer survivor and pole dancer.

This Saturday (Jan 13), she will be performing at Victoria Theatre with eight members of her pole-dancing team, The Rose Diamonds, which consists of seniors, cancer survivors and supporters. She is the oldest in the team.

Of the nine performers, five are breast cancer survivors and two are seniors. The remaining two are breast cancer supporters.

A Pole Story: Adventures In Wonderland will be the team's biggest performance yet. They will be performing outside of their studio, The Brass Barre, for the first time, and are expecting more than 600 people to attend, said team instructor Tan Li Leng, 60, who is a deputy vice-president at an insurance company.

Previous performances were held inside their studio to 140 people at most, she added.

Ms Muthukrishnan, who picked up the activity seven years ago, said the coming performance will be her fifth time performing pole dancing.

"It's going to be a very big stage, so it's a bit scary. But we'll give it our best," said the full-timer at the Singapore Cancer Society.

First-time performer Joanna Lim, 51, said she is overwhelmed to be performing in front of such a big crowd.

"But once I'm on stage I'll have made a statement that... whether you have overcome a major illness or whatever stage of life you are in, as long as you have like-minded people who are encouraging, it can be done," added Ms Lim, a breast cancer survivor who started pole dancing last year.

During the performance, the team will twirl around poles and dance to a Russian song, Ti Amero. Co-founder of The Brass Barre Anita Sadasivan, 29, who choreographed the routine, said it is the team's toughest one.

She added that she wanted to "push them to do something a little bit more artistic and try to take them to the next level".

"They are very consistent performers, so I know that on the day itself... they will be able to do well on stage and shine and enjoy it. In fact, I think they'll be even better when there's the audience cheering for them," she said.

The Brass Barre sponsors the use of the pole studio for one hour every Sunday to support the fitness activities of The Rose Diamonds.

The team will be performing alongside other students and instructors of The Brass Barre, which organised the performance. International pole dancers from Malaysia, Australia and Russia will also be performing.

Visit www.thebrassbarre.com/apolestory for information on tickets.